What job seekers need to know about digital privacy

Follow these tips to protect your digital privacy as you begin your job search.

Follow these tips to protect your digital privacy as you begin your job search.

The interview process isn’t what it used to be. Before the proliferation of the internet, it was easy to separate your personal life from your professional one. But now, as college graduates prepare to enter the workforce, they have to worry about potential employers accessing their Facebook profiles, not to mention the fact that social media has increasingly become an outlet for businesses to begin the recruitment process. To navigate the minefield of social media as you begin your career, follow these tips:

Check your privacy settings

Facebook is constantly changing its privacy settings, so even if your profile was protected in the past, you should check your account settings frequently to make sure it’s not viewable by people you may not want to access it. You may also want to separate your Facebook friends into different groups (such as professional and personal) so you can control how much of your profile they can see.

Know your rights

Some states have enacted legislation to protect you from potential employers (or current ones) who may try to strong arm you into giving up your Facebook username and password. Currently six states prohibit this type of behavior: California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey.

Keep it professional

Above all, it’s important to keep your personal Facebook profile professional. This may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but it’s the best way to ensure that your social media life doesn’t get in the way of you scoring a great job. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything you would be embarrassed to show your grandparents. If it would be awkward to explain that party photo to them, it’ll be just as uncomfortable explaining it to an employer. Don’t give them a reason to doubt your professionalism.